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Retired Economics Professor Continues to Publish, Teach, Lecture

CONWAY, Ark. (October 31, 2017) – Dr. T.D. “Tom” Stanley, the Julia Mobley Professor of Economics, Emeritus, gave an invited keynote, “Recent developments: Should we WAAP economics’ low power and exaggerated results?” October 13 at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany, as part of the 11th annual MAER-Net Colloquium. Hendrix College hosted a similar MAER-Net Colloquium in 2016. 

Zeppelin University is similar to Hendrix in size, population of high-ability, motivated students, and educational philosophy. “No other institution of higher education in Germany aspires to our liberal arts educational goals and ideals,” Stanley said. “It is wonderful to see our educational philosophy prosper around the world.” 

Alongside Professor Jarko Fidrmuc, Stanley co-instructs a class on meta-analysis at Zeppelin University.  

Stanley also has co-authored a recently published paper, “The power of bias in economics research,” as part of The Economic Journal’s Feature, “The Confidence Crisis in Science.”

The paper, published in the journal’s October 2017 issue, is the first large-scale study of the bias, statistical power, and hence the scientific credibility of economics. A survey of 64,076 economic estimates from 159 areas of research and 6,700 empirical studies finds that the median statistical power is 18 percent or less. “That is, the probability that an empirical economic investigation is able to identify what it seeks is usually 18 percent, or lower,” Stanley said.

The survey also identifies widespread bias. Typically, reported economic effects are inflated by 100 percent, with one-third inflated by a factor of four or more. “In other words, over half of economic research results are reported to be twice as large as they actually are, and one-third are exaggerated to be four times too big,” Stanley said. Lastly, 90 percent of economics findings are under-powered (relative to the widely accepted convention that 80 percent defines adequate power) for half of these areas of economics research.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit